When reality goes beyond fiction

The Artistic Director's introduction to the Spring season 2020

Outside the bookstore in the fire-ravaged village of Cobargo (New South Wales, Australia), a new sign has recently been put up: “Post-Apocalyptic Fiction has been moved to Current Affairs.” The house is on fire. Literally, Australian forests are burning on a scale never seen before. Populist ideologies are gaining ground. Five years after the terror attacks against Charlie Hebdo, new forms of threats against freedom of speech have appeared.

I cannot help thinking about the horror described in The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which is a tragic initiation into destruction. This book explores the meaning of our lives, our humanity and how individuals navigate in such a world. To contemporary anthropophagy, McCarthy opposes the sweetness and the gratuitousness of the relationship between “the man” and “the boy”. Being the last depositaries of humankind, the two characters reveal to us simple gestures, which constitute the foundation of our culture.

In the middle of what we may experience as apocalyptic times, it is people and courageous individuals who take risks to instigate changes, whether they address urgencies or fight for their rights in the wake of popular uprisings. In the art field, challenging structural domination has become more and more pressing. Questions related to representation, inclusiveness, distribution of power, equality and access to resources are addressed and practiced. Because they challenge established order, because they imply a new language, because they require forms of healing, these issues do not have any ready-made answer. But an in-depth process of change is underway.

And, when reality overpasses fiction, we at Black Box teater wish to nurture the precious possibility of live art to be precisely a-live, relying on people and presence. This season offers the opportunity to encounter profound humanity and ways of being, to approach modes of presence, embodiment and narratives that escape limitations and established representations. The artists we are inviting convey a diversity of approaches, with singular voices: either vibrating, full of rage, delicate or whimsical. May we come together!

Anne-Cécile Sibué-Birkeland
Artistic and General Director